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our home buying timeline

Emily Oster

Its been too long since continuing with our home buying experience so today I thought I would talk timeline. As I mentioned in the first post of this mini series, we started looking for a house in August of 2013. Our lease was up in November of that year and while, we were pretty sure we could renew, we wanted to at least get a sense of what was out there. We probably would not have started our search until much later except we got a great referral for a realtor - Allie. I figured why not meet with her and start to see whats our there. From our first meeting with Allie, I really liked her. She was not at all pushy, was totally understanding of our flexible timeline and just made us super comfortable.

August is not a great time to start looking for house as there just seems to not be a lot on the market. This was ok for us because we weren't that serious about our search and I think I might have been overwhelmed if we had started looking in the spring when most things come up for sale. So in September and October, we went to open houses on Sundays and enjoyed getting our daily MLS listing email. It was quite relaxed and rather pleasant learning about different neighborhoods and dreaming of our future home. It was also during this time that I became dead set on our current neighborhood. I had a good hunch and after seeing a lot of homes in the area I knew it was where I wanted to be. This period proved to be a really valuable thing for us as it gave us the confidence to not waiver on location. It also taught us that while we saw a lot of nice homes, there weren't really any that we were seeing that we loved. 

In November, we resigned our lease and with the holidays and our upcoming wedding decided to put house hunting out of our minds until March. Of course, as soon as we did this we saw the first house that we actually really liked and thought had good potential. It was in our desired neighborhood, had been mostly remodeled, had a nice semi-open layout, was on a dead end street that seemed to have a lot of young families and had the unique feature of having a fireplace in the basement. We saw it at a Sunday open house and it was packed with people. We were pretty tempted by it although with the amount of interest in it and our own bad timing, we ultimately decided not to pursue it. Looking back, I am glad it didn't work out as it didn't have enough projects for us. It was pretty much done although not done completely to my liking and it would have been hard to justify spending money to change it. Below are some pictures from the old listing.

After seeing this first house in November, our house hunting was pretty quiet through February. I think we might have even have stopped looking at our daily MLS listing emails. In March, post wedding and with the spring real estate boom approaching we started looking again. For us, the spring real estate market was night and day different from the fall or winter environment. So many more houses went on the market and they were being sold super fast. It was at this point that I started to get a little nervous as I realized just how competitive the market can be. It also made us realize that we needed to get serious about getting our finances in order. So while we continued to look at houses, we also started the process of talking to financial advisors and lenders.

Right at the beginning of April, I traveled to High Point Market and while there I saw a listing that I liked a lot. I immediately called Jeff and he had seen it to and liked it as well. If my memory serves me correctly the listing indicated that they weren't going to start showings until that Tuesday, April 8th so I emailed Allie and asked her to schedule us a lunch time viewing. I am going to save the full break down for another post but to summarize we loved the house and that night we put in what we thought was a very competitive offer. On Wednesday, we found out we didn't get it. This, however, was not the end as we became the back up contract. The whole thing continued for a month and it wasn't until the other buyer officially closed on the house sometime in early May that it was over. 

As we were dealing with/waiting to know about the April house, we pretty much stopped looking. In early May when it was finalized that we didn't get the house, we were left feeling depleted and rather unenthusiastic about our house hunting. With our hearts not in it, we yet again took some time off looking. 

It was probably sometime near the end of June that my interest resumed in the search. We started going to Sunday open houses again but by this point in the game, we were much more particular about what we wanted. The April house was definitely still at the back of our minds but it was starting to fade and we actually were able to talk about the things we didn't like about the house. 

In early July, we got the listing for what would become our future house. We weren't so sure about the location so we sat on it for a few days and I might have driven by it before scheduling a showing. We saw the house on Sunday, July 13th after getting back from my cousin's wedding. We were a little ragged from the weekend but I remember sitting in the driveway waiting for Allie and Jeff turned to me and said "I think we are really going to like this one". I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there but the next month was by far the hardest part of our search. We did not have an easy closing by any means which I will cover in a future post but we were able to make it work. And on August 25th, 2014 almost exactly a year after our first meeting with Allie, we got our house. 

If you missed the intro or first installment of this series you can check it out here and here